Augusta justifiably claims the title of "Garden City." In an effort to enhance this recognition and to promote our continuing concern to make Augusta beautiful, let's create an arboretum.
In it a specimen of every tree compatible to our climate would be planted. Such an arboretum would provide a mecca of opportunities for education and scientific study and research in addition to being a tourist attraction.
There is presently a lot of interest being expressed in a "Vision of Augusta." Additionally, planning is ongoing about the Augusta Canal. These activities set the stage for creating something like an arboretum that would further distinguish Augusta. Throughout the city there are many areas suitable for the planting of trees: the Canal, street medians, Pendleton King Park, and the many mini-parks throughout the urban and rural areas. Just imagine a pine grove here and an oak forest there. One area might have only flowering trees, e.g. cherry blossoms. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Individuals and organizations could be invited to donate trees in honor or memory of persons or events with appropriate markers identifying the tree, the donor, and the person or event being honored or memorialized. Participation of garden clubs and nurseries could be enlisted, as well as Augusta State University, the University of Georgia, and other interested groups and agencies.
In a recent conversation with Barry Smith, director of Department of Trees and Parks, he shared his enthusiasm for this idea and indicates that he's thinking and planning along this line. This would be a long-term project requiring the participation and support of local governments, collateral agencies, and citizen groups.
Let's think big. ... Let's make it happen.
Russ Holloman, Ph.D., Evans